Exploring Carnosine Side Effects

Table of Contents

Exploring Carnosine Side Effects

Table of Contents

Have you heard all about the wonderful benefits of taking a carnosine supplement but have some concerns about possible side effects?

Then you’re not alone. Most consumers are naturally concerned with what they are putting into their bodies and whether it will have negative consequences they should be made aware of. 

Luckily, carnosine is a natural histidine-containing dipeptide composed of two amino acids, beta-alanine and histidine. It is present in high concentrations in skeletal muscle tissue, brain tissue, and other tissues throughout the body. The body already has a relationship with carnosine and recognizes it as something beneficial.

Now, having said that, supplementation is used to increase the amount of muscle carnosine in your body so that you can get all the benefits. But you need to know that if you overdo it, there will be side effects from taking too much, disrupting the body’s natural order. 

In this article, we will cover possible side effects – knowledge is power, after all, but we will also introduce an alternative to ingesting carnosine in pill form. Chemipower has come up with an innovative way to supplement carnosine – it’s a gel called CarnoSport, and it can be applied directly onto the skin, negating many of the side effects of ingestion. But more about that later. 

Let’s dive into the side effects of carnosine supplementation. 

Carnosine side effects vs. the benefits

Since Carnosine is a natural amino acid present in the tissues of the body, side effects are minimal, but they can occur if you take too much or your body has imbalances that make the processing of additional carnosine more difficult, such as liver damage and gastrointestinal problems. 

The protective benefit vs. gastrointestinal disturbances

Woman experiencing discomfort

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Carnosine’s antioxidant effect is one of its main uses. Free radicals, which are unstable chemicals that can harm cells and play a role in several disorders, are scavenged by this amino acid. It’s like a clean-up crew that comes around after a storm has blown through a house and cleans up everything that has been damaged and repairs it. 

You can also think of carnosine as a fortified shield that protects cell membranes from oxidative stress, lessening the chances of cellular damage. Harmful substances known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) have a nasty effect on brain tissue and carnosine helps to carry these substances away before they can do damage. The protective benefit has been shown to help people with Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain disorders. 

Carnosine has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and stops some inflammatory molecules (cytokines) from being produced, which will lessen inflammation in the body. This is highly beneficial for sufferers of arthritis

Since there is no established Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for carnosine, supplement dosages can also range from 500 mg to 2000 mg daily. Since carnosine comes in pill and powder form, it can be easy to take too much of this supplement, perhaps also thinking that more is better. 

Doing so can irritate the delicate lining of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, causing nausea, heartburn, and stomach cramps. A continuous feeling of nausea when taking a supplement will be enough to put anyone off, mitigating all the positive benefits of it. 

Some individuals may also suffer from pre-existing conditions that predispose them to stomach complaints, such as stomach ulcers and IBS. In this case, oral supplementation will be difficult. 

If this is you, the solution is at hand. Chemipower and Tartu University have developed an alternative to oral supplementation in the form of a gel. CarnoSport provides a way to improve the concentration of carnosine in the body by directly applying it to the skin, where it is absorbed into the muscle tissue for use by the body. Even athletes can use this gel because there are no restrictions for competitive sports. The gel eliminates the gastrointestinal side effects of supplementation.

It’s not all bad news regarding gastrointestinal disturbances. Gut health benefits from carnosine, especially in the form of zinc carnosine supplements, have been observed to support gastric and intestinal integrity, suggesting a protective role against gastrointestinal injuries​. So, it just depends on the condition of your gastric and intestinal system BEFORE you take the pills or powder. 

Muscle recovery benefit  

Woman performing stretching exercises

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There is another benefit we can talk about here vs. the side effects of gastrointestinal disturbances and that is muscle recovery. 

For athletes muscle recovery and muscle health are of prime importance, which is why the benefits of carnosine are appealing to anyone concerned with the negative effects of strenuous exercise. 

The human vastus lateralis muscle is one of the most studied muscles in terms of carnosine research. Studies have shown that higher muscle carnosine concentrations in the vastus lateralis muscle are associated with improved exercise performance.

Carnosine has the ability as an amino acid to provide not only protection against injuries because it strengthens the muscles, but also reduces muscle fatigue by acting as a pH buffer. 

Using a carnosine gel instead of an oral supplement has several benefits:

  • Faster delivery of carnosine into the muscle before and after exercise
  • Increased concentration of carnosine in the muscle, improving the health of the muscle and decreasing recovery time.
  • Increased strength of tendons, ligaments, and joints supporting the muscle
  • Increased anti-inflammatory action during exercise

Because carnosine does not pass through the gastrointestinal tract, nausea and other stomach upsets will not occur. 

Other carnosine side effects

Not everyone will be affected in the same way by supplementation. Most notably, people with underlying medical conditions could be prone to sensitivities and should exercise caution. The majority of carnosine users experience no side effects or eliminate them by using the gel


Some individuals are sensitive to supplementation due to underlying medical conditions. This means the body already has imbalances and supplementation might further aggravate those conditions. Nervous system disorders that involve irritability and nervousness may get worse as a result of taking carnosine. 

Low blood pressure

One study published in the Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology journal (2003) found that a single dose of carnosine given to healthy volunteers caused a significant decrease in blood pressure.

As positive as this sounds, some people may experience a sudden decrease in blood pressure when taking carnosine. This can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.

Medical professional using a testing kit to check a patient's blood sugar levels.

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Low blood sugar

Carnosine may improve insulin and glucose sensitivity by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which are known factors that impair their action. Improved insulin sensitivity means that the body can more effectively use insulin to lower blood sugar levels after a meal. Improved glucose metabolism means there will be less in the bloodstream. Either one of these improvements can affect a person’s blood sugar levels, leading to feeling jittery, anxious, and even confused. 

Carnosport Gel – the alternative to oral supplementation

CarnoSport has been scientifically formulated to provide high-quality carnosine to muscle tissues without the negative side effects of ingesting carnosine supplements.

The metered doses provide the correct quantities of gel for pre- and post-exercise recovery and can also be used to increase carnosine concentration in the body, giving you anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective benefits. 

If you’re excited about the idea of getting all the benefits with none of the side effects, you can order CarnoSport online. But if you’d like more information on carnosine, keep reading.

FAQs About Carnosine

Can I get the same effect from eating carnosine-rich foods?

Dietary carnosine intake can increase muscle carnosine concentration. However, the concentrations necessary to get positive effects will require you to eat a larger quantity of these foods than you can manage in a day. Current carnosine levels will dictate what you need. Older people have decreased carnosine and dietary supplementation does not adequately meet their needs, especially if they have degenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

Does carnosine have any benefit for cancer?

Carnosine’s lipid peroxidation effect helps protect cells from oxidative stress, a condition characterized by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body. Oxidative stress is implicated in the initiation and progression of cancer by damaging cellular DNA, proteins, and lipids, leading to mutations and a tumor-friendly environment. 

Is carnosine helpful for metal ion chelation?

Carnosine’s chelating properties may also benefit the brain by binding to excess metal ions, such as copper and zinc, which can accumulate and contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases.

Can carnosine cause allergic reactions?

Allergic reactions to carnosine are extremely rare, but they can occur, especially in individuals with a history of allergies to dietary supplements. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling (especially of the face, tongue, or throat), severe dizziness, and trouble breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms after taking carnosine, it’s crucial to stop taking the supplement immediately and seek medical attention.

Further reading: What is carnosine?

Final Thoughts

Navigating through factual information about supplementation can feel like taking a walk in a swamp. With so much information available, it can be hard to know what to trust. 

In this article, we carefully balanced the benefits and any negative effects that can be experienced, noting that not all people who take carnosine will suffer from these effects.

We also suggested an alternative that we believe will solve the problem of side effects by introducing CarnoSport, which can be directly applied to the skin, bypassing the digestive system.

Knowledge is indeed power and if you’re still excited about the prospect of alleviating your symptoms and believe carnosine is the answer, then try CarnoSport for better health

Here’s to better health.